Previously, we discovered that the top Education aide to Governor McCrory is a hardcore pro-Common Core who seems to have attempted to hide his party affiliation as being Democrat. Read: McCrory’s Democrat Common Core Advisors
That aide is named Eric Guckian and he was brought on to McCrory’s staff in May of 2013. Previously, he was Executive Director for New Leaders Inc and Teach For America-North Carolina. Guckian was also Director of Strategic Partnerships for the North Carolina New Schools Project, a consultant to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and leading a strategic planning effort for KIPP. All of the groups in Guckian’s past are very pro-Common Core and have been well-financed to push it.
So how did a Common Core pushing Democrat like Guckian come to be education advisor to McCrory?
Guckian says New Leaders’ board member John Lassiter made it happen. Lassiter was appointed Chairman of the N.C. Economic Development Board by McCrory in July, 2013. Lassiter also was chair of the secretive non-profit formed by McCrory, New North Carolina Foundation until he stepped down at the beginning of 2014.
While Lassiter was likely part of it. Positioning someone like Guckian in a state where the two top posts are Republican and so are both houses of the legislature takes some doing. Influence from higher positions outside of North Carolina, could perhaps get that done. Flashback to Charlotte Mecklenburg schools forming as partnership with New Leaders and New Schools:
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — CMS Superintendent Dr. Peter C. Gorman and New Leaders for New Schools CEO Jon Schnur today announced that following a year-long, national competition, the New Leaders Board of Directors has selected Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools as its newest partner. New Leaders for New Schools is a nationally recognized non-profit organization which serves as an innovative pathway for passionate and effective educators to become successful principals in high-need schools.
Keep that name, Jon Schnur, in your mind. Moving down in the same article:
Schnur also announced that Eric Guckian will be the Executive Director of the local New Leaders for New Schools program. Guckian has over a decade of experience as a public school teacher, administrator, and leader. “Outstanding principals are essential to school and student success,” said Mr. Guckian. “I look forward to working with the community to recruit, train, and support results-oriented leaders who possess an unwavering commitment to ensure that every CMS student achieves academic excellence.”
Who is Jon Schnur?
Jon served as a senior advisor to President Obama’s presidential transition team and to U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan. He has also served as President Clinton’s White House Associate Director for Educational Policy, Senior Policy Advisor on Education to Vice President Gore, and special assistant to U.S. Secretary of Education Dick Riley.
In the end, Schnur didn’t stick around to be part of Duncan’s cabinet and went back to New Leaders. He likely was seen as more valuable that way and could really be a more effective “community leader”. The entire premise of New Leaders hangs on their mission idea that “leadership matters”. What being an effective community leader entails is getting the right people in the right leadership places. Eric Guckian could be viewed as a prime example of that.
No matter how you slice it, Guckian was hired at a time when Common Core pushback was starting to really surface in North Carolina. That could be coincidence, but I doubt it. Perhaps the Governor can enlighten us as to how he selected Guckian? Or was it the other way around?
Peas in a Common Core Pod.
Related Reading: 2012 CCSSO Conference
Schnur has ties to the following groups, all of which have received millions from the Gates foundation to push and promote Common Core (College ready): Alliance for Excellence in Education, America Achieves, New Leaders for New Schools. A break out of the funds received is below. Search for yourself at the Gates Foundation grant portal.
Alliance for Excellence In Education
|Alliance for Excellent Education, Inc.||2013||College-Ready||US Program||$425,000|
|Alliance for Excellent Education, Inc.||2012||College-Ready||US Program||$2,500,000|
|Alliance for Excellent Education, Inc.||2012||Postsecondary Success||US Program||$116,914|
|Alliance for Excellent Education, Inc.||2010||College-Ready||US Program||$3,200,004|
|Alliance for Excellent Education, Inc.||2009 and earlier||College-Ready||US Program||$551,336|
|Alliance for Excellent Education, Inc.||2009 and earlier||Global Policy & Advocacy||US Program||$2,644,892|
|Alliance for Excellent Education, Inc.||2009 and earlier||Global Policy & Advocacy||US Program||$2,564,734|
|Alliance for Excellent Education, Inc.||2009 and earlier||Global Policy & Advocacy||US Program||$500,000|
|America Achieves, Inc||2012||College-Ready||US Program||$1,501,4|
|America Achieves, Inc||2011||College-Ready||US Program||$753,624|
New Leaders for New Schools
|New Leaders Inc||2013||College-Ready||US Program||$2,000,000|
|New Leaders Inc||2009 and earlier||College-Ready||US Program||$6,080,340|
|New Leaders Inc||2009 and earlier||College-Ready||US Program||$670,387|
|New Leaders Inc||2009 and earlier||Strategic Partnerships||US Program||$2,000,503|
|New Leaders Inc||2009 and earlier||College-Ready||US Program||$9,967,084|